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View Full Version : I saw a kid busking on the corner,,



Rllink
01-09-2017, 06:13 AM
and he had some sort of pickup attached to the head of his ukulele, much the same as digital tuners snap on to the head, and it had a wire running to a little speaker amp on his belt. He was really putting out some sound. I don't think I've heard or seen something like that before.

Booli
01-09-2017, 07:41 AM
and he had some sort of pickup attached to the head of his ukulele, much the same as digital tuners snap on to the head, and it had a wire running to a little speaker amp on his belt. He was really putting out some sound. I don't think I've heard or seen something like that before.

Likely he was using a clip-on pickup (Amazon link (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/157-6334550-2202018?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=clip+on+pickup)) and one of these mini-amplifiers or similar (Amazon link (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_st_price-asc-rank?keywords=danelectro+honeytone&fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A11091801%2Ck%3Adanelectro+honeytone&qid=1483986790&sort=price-asc-rank)).

Both are cheap $ and almost disposable. I've tried various forms of the clip-on pickup, on the headstock and other locations and found it to sound excessively tinny, and the Danelectro HoneyTone, and similar Fender and Marshall mini-amps with the 3 inch speaker will in fact amplify the sound, but, lets just say you need to set your expectations accordingly.

I use my HoneyTone amp for cable testing after making solder connections, since it's faster than diggin out my meter for continuity testing, but would never consider it for use when I wanted decent or authentic acoustic sound. If one is running through a distortion and other pedals, then maybe it will sound ok, but a 3 inch speaker, as per the laws of physics is never going to reproduce the tone of an acoustic instrument, even a soprano uke with any sweet audio fidelity, but they serve a niche and I am happy they are available.

These mini-amps also have a headphone out so one can practice guitar, etc with magnetic pickups without annoying parents, and they are also a cheap and easy way to amplify your iPhone, iPad etc with the correct cable that has a 3.5mm (1/8") male plug for the headphone/output jack of the music device, and the other end has a 6.35mm (1/4") male plug for the input to the amplifier. It will be mono, but it will make sound. :)

Croaky Keith
01-09-2017, 08:06 AM
These clip on pick ups do work, too well, as they even pick up your hand movements!

I bought a couple when I first started with the uke, but they've remained in my drawer.
The Honeytone mini amp is just a practice amp, but OK if you're not particular.
But I don't think either are for you. :)

Rllink
01-09-2017, 11:34 AM
I don't know what kind of little amp he had. I didn't take a real close look at it. But that clip on cable pickup was exactly what he was using. But he was a young kid and it looked like he was living out of a backpack and busking to pay his way. Anyway, he seemed to be doing fine on the street corner. I listened to him for some time while my wife was in the grocery store. I just had not seen that setup before and I knew someone here would know what it is.

Booli
01-09-2017, 12:18 PM
I don't know what kind of little amp he had. I didn't take a real close look at it. But that clip on cable pickup was exactly what he was using. But he was a young kid and it looked like he was living out of a backpack and busking to pay his way. Anyway, he seemed to be doing fine on the street corner. I listened to him for some time while my wife was in the grocery store. I just had not seen that setup before and I knew someone here would know what it is.
No worries brother - happy to share what I know from first-hand experience...

If it was working for him and 'it sounded like a ukulele' and folks were tossing currency into his instrument case, then he's likely going to break even on his equipment investment sooner than someone like me who is obsessed with a reasonable level of audio fidelity...LOL

Like with the strings debate, most people dont know or care about the difference...a lid for every pot and so on....

It's all good to me :)

Mivo
01-09-2017, 01:04 PM
I'm still curious about clip on microphones where the microphone goes inside, and the instrument's body shields it from outside noise and feedback. The Bartlett guitar mic is still on the way to me, so it should answer my curiosity about much environmental noise it can handle. Then the trick will be to get one tweaked for ukulele use. :)

Booli
01-09-2017, 05:41 PM
I'm still curious about clip on microphones where the microphone goes inside, and the instrument's body shields it from outside noise and feedback. The Bartlett guitar mic is still on the way to me, so it should answer my curiosity about much environmental noise it can handle. Then the trick will be to get one tweaked for ukulele use. :)

I am curious about and interested in your experiences with the Bartlett - might you share a sound sample once you get it and have it sorted?

Schertler also has similar products and I've been wanting to check them out as well...

Rllink
01-10-2017, 01:04 AM
No worries brother - happy to share what I know from first-hand experience...

If it was working for him and 'it sounded like a ukulele' and folks were tossing currency into his instrument case, then he's likely going to break even on his equipment investment sooner than someone like me who is obsessed with a reasonable level of audio fidelity...LOL

Like with the strings debate, most people dont know or care about the difference...a lid for every pot and so on....

It's all good to me :)

Well, he was making money on the corner, but as my wife said, there is much more to it than making music. He had a good corner with a lot of traffic, he was very good at playing to the crowd, and he had this look about him that made him irresistible to the mothers and grandmothers walking by. It has been my experience that performing is much more than just playing a ukulele well, and that kid knew how to get people's attention.

Booli
01-10-2017, 07:35 AM
Well, he was making money on the corner, but as my wife said, there is much more to it than making music. He had a good corner with a lot of traffic, he was very good at playing to the crowd, and he had this look about him that made him irresistible to the mothers and grandmothers walking by. It has been my experience that performing is much more than just playing a ukulele well, and that kid knew how to get people's attention.

By your description it 'sounds' :) like he definitely had some mojo :music:

Twibbly
01-10-2017, 07:59 AM
$20 for this thing on Amazon right now, normally $30. It sounds like what you're talking about: https://www.amazon.com/Audio2000S-AWP6202-Waist-Band-Portable-Microphone/dp/B001RR9BZA

Mivo
01-10-2017, 02:26 PM
I am curious about and interested in your experiences with the Bartlett - might you share a sound sample once you get it and have it sorted?

I'll report my experiences with it when it gets here and I have spent some time with it. :) (It's currently at customs.) Bruce Bartlett, who's been helpful and responsive, said that the smaller the uke, the more I'll probably need to turn down low-frequency EQ around 200 Hz. He also confirmed that the Behringer ADI21 will work with the B model (phew!). I bought it for my guitar, but if it works well with my ukuleles also, I'll probably get a second one just for convenience.

My only experience with Schertler is with a contact mic that I had bought for recording a hollow box kalimba, which didn't work out so well. Just having to deal with the putty to attach it was a dealbreaker. (I STILL have that contact mic... I should try it with ukuleles too, just for science!)

Rllink
01-18-2017, 03:05 PM
I passed the same kid today when I was walking to the post office and he was using a Roland battery powered amp. I think it is called the Mobile AC. He was at a different corner and was getting a lot of tourist foot traffic. I don't think he was doing as well with the tourists as he was the last time I saw him.